A new study suggests that the Mediterranean diet can help you manage your weight more effectively and will bring about a lot of health benefits.

The Mediterranean diet is a modern fusion of Greece, Spain, and Southern Italy diets. The meals are composed mainly of olive oil, legumes, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Other foods such as fish, dairy products, wine, and meat are consumed moderately.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health led by Dr. Stefanos Kales recruited 780 male firefighters, aged 18 years and above, and closely monitored their adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet. The participants were divided into four groups to identify which group had the most adherences and compared it to another group showed less adherence. The participants were given lifestyle questionnaires to identify their pre-existing dietary habits.

Data showed that those who followed the diet on stricter terms have lower risks for heart diseases than those who did not follow the diet. Furthermore, they have reduced their risk of having metabolic-related disorders by 35 percent. Metabolic-related disorders include diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

The researchers also measured the firefighters' blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and the amount of cholesterol in their bodies. They found that those who adopted a strict Mediterranean diet have a 43 percent lower risk of gaining weight compared to the other group.

They picked the firefighters as subject of the study because of their high risk of obesity and heart diseases. Furthermore, Kales said to Philly.com that those who adhered strictly to the diet "tended not to drink soft drinks or other sugary beverages; had less consumption of fast food and more fruits and vegetables; ate fewer sweets; and were less likely to eat fried food."

The study was published in the Feb. 4 issue of PLOS One.